What is MOLLE, and How Does it Work?


If you are interested in collecting and learning about the tactical gears, then you must be familiar with this thing called MOLLE. Well, if you are not, then don’t let this polite and friendly name pronounced as Molly take your attention away from its real nature. Made up of 100% Nylon, MOLLE stands for Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment. Most of the high-quality tactical backpacks used for rough handling in hiking, military, and camping have an in-built MOLLE system. In this article, you will find everything about MOLLE definition, when it was first used, who needs it and for what, and some tips about how to use a MOLLE. So, gear up to get the most out of your MOLLE system by reading further.

The History Behind MOLLE System

MOLLE is an advanced mounting system that is secure and serves diverse functions. Being a versatile attachment system, MOLLE webbing can be seen with a large number of rucksacks, tactical backpacks, military vests, tactical belts, and body armor. However, it wasn’t until the 1990s that the multifunctional MOLLE attachment system was introduced. During the Global War, MOLLE was being used with the typical military backpacks by the US Army, but even then, the MOLLE system wasn’t considered as useful as it is now.

Soon after the 9/11 attacks, MOLLE gained the maximum attention as this mounting system came in handy for the US military troops fighting in Afghanistan and after some time in Iraq as well. Over time, its scope started shifting to hikers, campers, and world travelers as well. MOLLE was originally designed to improve the ALICE, which stands for All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment. But with its strong attachment system and easy weaving, MOLLE gained popularity very quickly.

Where is MOLLE Used and Why?

Many MOLLE compatible pouches and accessories can be mounted to the strong Nylon webbing system, permanently fixed with tactical rucksacks and vests. Similarly, the MOLLE can also be used with the metallic grid panels inside the vehicles for secure and flexible access to all your equipment and gears. The MOLLE webbing permits various pouches, gears, and accessories to be attached with your backpack or tactical vest.

MOLLE attachment system is a technical and integral part of most rucksacks, tactical assault panels, and chest packs. It works on a subsystem for secure webbing known as PALS, an acronym of Pouch Attachment Ladder System. PALS can be seen stitched to the rear of the backpacks, gear pouches, vests, and haversacks.

Ever since its creation MOLLE system has revolutionized the outdoor military missions and has provided an ease of access to essential gears for hunters, travelers, and hikers. The military personals use MOLLE with their outdoor gear to increase functionality and reach. Soldiers, campers, and hunters use it to mount their daggers, slingshots, holsters, pouches, canteen carriers, and first-aid kits. There is a heavy demand for MOLLE compatible accessories because they are easy to attach with your rucksack. Non-compatible objects can also be attached to the backpack MOLLE using rings and clasps.

How to Use A MOLLE System?

Many first-time users do not fully understand how to use a MOLLE system and end up putting everything inside of their backpacks regardless of a MOLLE webbing stitched to it. Each MOLLE system is made up of specific straps or webbings designed to mount the equipment or the gear you have. To help you learn how to use a MOLLE, here are some easy steps you can follow:

  • The first thing to do is look for an ideal position on your MOLLE attachment system.
  • In the military,  each gear’s placement is predetermined by the officials; however, outside of the military, you can try out different locations for your stuff. For instance, you can choose the top of your haversack for your pouches.
  • After picking the best location, grip on to the end of that MOLLE strap while the snap is still attached, then pass the strap from the lower row of the Nylon webbing, which will be used for attaching your gear, and snap it side up.
  • Tighten the strap from the initial row of Nylon webbing where the attachment is made after interlacing that strap.
  • Keep interlacing or weaving the MOLLE strap from Nylon webbing on your backpack, and if the attachment includes more than just one strap, keep repeating the process until all straps are weaved.
  • After placing the attachment in its desired position, you can secure the buttons or snaps.

MOLLE Tactical Gear Attachment Tips

Even after you learn how to attach your gear and equipment to the MOLLE system, it can take time to do it perfectly. So here are some tips that will help you mount the MOLLE compatible gear accurately without wasting time.

  • Before starting the mounting process, make sure you have purchased the right MOLLE vest or backpack for your needs and that it fits the size and weight requirements.
  • Before attaching your pouches to the MOLLE system, you should empty all of them so that you can form a secure bonding with the webbing.
  • When weaving the MOLLE straps in attachments with more than one strap, make sure that you weave them all together instead of doing them one by one.
  • For attaching non-compatible MOLLE items, use MOLLE clips instead of using ALICE clips.


As complicated as it all may sound to you, the MOLLE system is one of the finest ways to carry maximum tactical gear for military and non-military personnel. With this detailed information, you will be able to take with you the equipment that best suits your next adventure.

What Next?

Now since you have learned something about the Molle system, why don’t you also check out our other related guides as follows:

  • Best Molle pouches
  • Best Molle accessories
  • Best Molle backpack
  • Alice vs. Molle
  • Best Molle first aid kit
  • Best Molle holster

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